Situational awareness: Scam alert
May 12, 2019
The Virginia Tech Police Department has received several complaints of a recent scam attempt targeting those with a vt.edu email address. The scammer(s) will send what appears to be a legitimate email to the victim pretending to be a faculty member, fellow student, staff or faculty colleague of the victim.
The scammer(s) will tell the victim that he/she cannot connect to the internet for some reason and will state that they need to send money to a family member or fellow student/colleague who is in dire need of the money. Said person is in need of money immediately for an "emergency.”
The scammer will then ask the victim to obtain either gift cards or utilize "steam wallet" (or other electronic means) to obtain cards, will ask the victim to take a photo of the bar code of the card(s), and send it to the scammer. The scammer promises to pay the victim back once they "return" to campus.
This is a scam. The Virginia Tech Police Department reminds the community to be certain to take all necessary steps when asked for money via the internet from anyone purporting to be a relative, family friend, professor, colleague, or any other associate before actually sending anything. Reach out to the person through any other means to determine if it is real to include calling the person, emailing the person at the email address you may have (do not simply "reply" to the person's original email asking for money), and whatever means you have available to legitimately contact the person to ensure it is not a scam.
The Virginia Tech Police Department reminds all community members to please contact (540) 382-4343 at any time with concerns about any requests such as this.